Decade Of Dissonance

By Montaz

Decade Of Dissonance started out as a remix of Michael Jackson’s Thriller.  That idea was quickly dropped and the track took a direction of its own.  However, things kept getting in the way and it would take more than a year before it was done.  Its another relatively long track and it takes a bit of turn around the 5th minute before getting back on, well… track.

The main line is played through Native Instruments’ insane modular software studio (to put it mildly), Reaktor, which allows you to create your own instruments and ensembles by literally drawing out the components (generators, knobs, faders, etc.) and connecting them into the signal flow as you see fit.  NI produces some of my favorite software based instruments including Absynth (also used on this track), Battery and the newer Massive.  To beef up the tone and give it some air I usually run the digital sounds through an analog device, preferably a preamp and/or a compressor, which was the case here.

(Speaking of preamps and compressors, I’ve gone through a few over the years and some of the highlights were a JoeMeek box, a Focusrite compressor (which I still have), and FMR Audio’s RNC 1773.  Nowadays, I find that the Universal Audio’s UAD powered plugins provide accurate emulations of the favorite analog hardware while allowing project-related presets.)

Yet another NI plugin, Guitar Rig was used on the guitar which meanders in the background and is more prominent in the break.  Guitar Rig does a decent job of simulating classic guitar amps and sounds, but it also offers some weird effects such as the one used here.

Exclusive: As you’ll see below, this post features the original (wav) format file for download.  This the mastered version of the original mixdown available here with no compression.  Enjoy.

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Download: Decade Of Dissonance (mp3)

Download: Decade Of Dissonance (wav)


By Alek Biotic

We’re going back to 2002 for this one.  Clusterfuck was (and still is) a personal favorite but it never made it out, until now.   The track is very raw and is based on a couple of rusty drum samples and a simple synth riff produced by the amazing Virus B synth.  That riff always reminded me of Pink Floyd’s “On The Run” which featured the impossible to find (or afford) EMS VCS 3.


Also heard on the track is the Nord Lead 2 keyboard which supplied the underlying bass sound.  The drums and the main line are all sample-based and played through the Akai S5000 sampler.  (The photo shows the studio setup from this period.  Seen in the upper right of the photo is the tiny 12 channel Mackie analog mixer which is one of the best sounding mixers I’ve ever used.)

Like many other producers, I’ve since moved on to a predominantly software-based setup, but Steinberg’s Nuendo software used to arrange and record the track is still in use, although upgraded to a more recent version.

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Download: Clusterfuck (mp3)

Download: Clusterfuck (wav)


By Montaz

I’ve never really been a fan of combining electonic sounds with traditional instruments but the blend definitely works in some genres and specific artists do an exceptional job of making it jell.  One of such acts is Massive Attack whose sound was an influence on this track.

The guitar played here is a Steinberger GM which I assembled from various parts 10 years ago and sold just yesterday to a guy in Tuscany.  I was actually a little sad to see it go but I kept the neck and trem and put those into a new guitar.  The strings used on the track are super heavy gauge .13-.68 (baritone gauge, actually) which I had custom made a few years back.  To compensate for the tension the guitar is tuned down to C, which gives it a nice deep sound while not interfering with the bass guitar.  Aside from the guitar all other instruments were either keyboards or samples played through a (midi) keyboard.

The track is pretty long even when you consider that it was cut down from 14+ minutes.  This length works for me, but I will admit that it could probably use some vocals (EJ Sebian, Shane Ali… are you guys reading this?  Whassup?)

On to the track… Listen right here or click the link below to download.  Enjoy.

Download: Homage (mp3)

Alek Biotic Presents: The Hook Up Service

Updated on October 8, 2009 This post now includes the actual Ableton arrangement and the slick SoundCloud player with waveform display and clip commenting. The hook up continues.

The Hook Up Service (cover)Just in time for the summer hook ups comes a fresh mix featuring 23 tracks of futro grooves.  Arranged, edited and mixed using Ableton Live, the mix follows the cross-genre vibe of prior mixes such as Bridge and Eleknopsyhousis which will be available for download here soon.

Download: The Hook Up Service (mp3)

Track List:
SebastiAn – Momy
Theo – Summertime Groove
Hakan Lidbo – Something In My Mind
Jasper Dahlback – The Real Jazz
Siriusmo – Boot Gleklaut
Siopsis – Penny From The Lane feat. Mr Brean
Joris Voorn – Dirty Thoughts
SebastiAn – Ross, Ross, Ross
Sebastien Tellier, Mr. Ozio, SebastiAn – Chivers As A Female
Gabriel Ananda – Ihre Persoenliche Gluecksmelodie
Joris Voorn – The Deep
Portable – Albatros
George Delkos – Deftoner
Kiko – Electric Burst
Nick Curly – Deep Breath
Jay Shepheard – Pipes N Sneakers
Joris Voorn – Early Bird
Siriusmo – Simple
Shadow Dancer – Dowbois (Strip Steve Remix)
Christian Smith & John Selway – Total Departure (Cirez D Remix)
Rino Cerrone – Hype
Clarisse Muvemba – Roses (Bangana Remix)
Dinamoe – The Green French One (Patrick Zigon Remix)
Snoop Dogg – Sexual Eruption

Below is a screenshot of the Ableton arrangement for those who are interested.
Click it for a larger version.

The Hook Up Service Arrangement

Alek Biotic Presents: Heat Check


Here comes a minimalesque techno set mixed live using TraktorScratch.  If you are not familiar with this software, it allows you to mix digital files (usually from a laptop) using turntables and special timecode vinyl records.  One thing that (presently) separates TraktorScratch from other similar set-ups (such as Serato ScratchLive and the older FinalScratch) is that it supports real-time key changing allowing you to blend not only beats, but key signatures.  This is actually one of the most appealing features to me when mixing since I like to have control over the key progression during a set.

Having done a few prior mixes using Ableton Live, this live set was literally a heat check of my deck chops.  It is also the last mix recorded before moving storing the 1200s to make room for a new member of the family – my son, Dean – born exactly a week later this recording.

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Download: Heat Check (mp3)

Track list:
Mark Henning – Ring of Fire – Trapez
Gui Boratto – Matryoshka – Kompakt
Andomat 3000 & Jan – Entr’acte Music – Cadenza
James What – Mesatennis – Sounderground
Gaetano Parisio – Untitled A (Adagio C) – Adagio
Sian – Forming The Pearl – Octopus Digipack
Teflon – The Wombat – Rebel One
Samuel L Session – Smokestack (SLS Remix 1) – Klap Klap
Jerry Abstract – Mudtsmut – Shitkatapult
Surgeon – Klonk 2 – Dynamic Tension
Mark Broom – Twenty Nine (Black Mix) – BPitch Control
Patrick Skoog – The Distance – Drumcode
Samuel L Session – Velvet (Alex Bau Remix) – One Off
Gabriel Ananda – Trommelstunde – Karmarouge
Par Grindvik – Do Us Apart – Drumcode
Rino Cerrone – Rilis 06B2 (Gaetano Parisio Remix) – Rilis
Andreas Mugge – Grand Slam – Punkt Music
Shlomi Aber – Freakside – Ovum
Christian Smith & John Selway – Lightning Strike (Agaric Remix) – CSM
Alex Under – Untitled 2 (Multiplicanciones) – Apnea